I feel privileged to be part of an international mission
Niels Jegind, Denmark
I am from Denmark and have a background in public administration and EU external relations. I completed my
Masters studies in public administration and EU foreign policy in Denmark. I also have an additional Master’s degree from the College of Europe in Warsaw where I
specialised in the EU’s
neighbourhood relations towards the south and east. While studying in Warsaw in 2011 to 2012 I became familiar with EU’s CSDP missions and learned about the EU Monitoring Mission’s (EUMM) mandate and its important activities in Georgia.
After graduating, I started working in the public sector in Denmark and Brussels in relation to the EU’s research and innovation programmes and policies. I also started going on assignments for the Danish Foreign Ministry as
election observer with the OSCE. Those assignments brought me to Georgia on two occasions: to Kutaisi and
Signagi. This gave me a very good impression of Georgia – with its history, culture
and hospitality – as a truly fascinating and unique country. Therefore, when I got the opportunity to be deployed as a monitor to the EUMM, I could not decline the offer.
I arrived at the EUMM in October 2017 as a monitor in Field Office Mtskheta and later joined the Field Office Human Security Team. It was an exciting change to go from the corridors of the EU institutions in Brussels and now to jump into hiking boots and go on patrols in mission vehicles, in rough terrain along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL). However, more importantly, it is a privilege to be part of a
mission that on a daily basis supports peace and
stabilisation for the conflict-affected population living along the ABL and in settlements for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Later during my tour of duty, I started supporting the field office’s reporting and open-source analysis activities, which I have found very interesting since that gives me a broader picture and deeper understanding of how the situation on the ground relates to broader political, societal and regional developments.
One of the benefits of working in the EUMM is working with my colleagues. The Mission staff is composed of both national and international staff from 25 different Member States from both military, police and civilian professions. I am impressed
at the professionalism of my colleagues, and how well they all cooperate and work together.